Tiger Woods Apologises After Giving Justin Thomas A Tampon During Genesis Invitational Round



Tiger Woods apologises after giving Justin Thomas a tampon during Genesis Invitational round

It occurred as the Americans walked off the ninth tee, with Thomas laughing and then dropping the tampon on the floor.

“It was supposed to be all fun and games and obviously it hasn’t turned out that way,” said Woods, 47.

“If I offended anybody in any way, shape or form, I’m sorry,” he added.

“It was not intended to be that way. We play pranks on one another all the time and virally I think this did not come across that way, but between us it was, it’s different.”

Woods is playing in his first competitive PGA Tour event since missing the cut at The Open in July.

The 15-time major champion was in a group with PGA Championship winner Thomas and four-time major winner Rory McIlroy for the first two rounds.

The incident on day one drew criticism on social media, with many stating it was disrespectful to women.

Woods’ apology came after he carded a three-over-par 74 on Friday to leave him one over par after two rounds.

Writing in USA Today, columnist Christine Brennan, said: “Woods’ message to Thomas was obvious. It has been the go-to line of silly, often insecure boys for generations: You play like a girl.

“What a bizarre thing for a “girl dad” to do. His daughter Sam, now 15, grew up playing soccer and had just played in a tournament in Florida when she arrived to watch him win the Masters in 2019.

“… He employed basic misogyny to insult his good friend Thomas, a knee-slapper of a dig against female athletes: You hit the ball like a girl!”

Sky Sports presenter Sarah Stirk said it was “crass” and “extremely disappointing”.

Speaking on Sky Sports News, Stirk added: “It was seemingly done in jest. To me it was laddy, blokey behaviour, passing him the tampon effectively saying: ‘I’ve outdriven you, you’re driving the ball like a woman’.

“[That is] effectively the inference of the incident that happened and that to me says females, women, are inferior to men.

“Women should not be portrayed as being inferior to men in any walk of life and certainly on a sporting landscape.”

US lawyer Dr Ann Olivarius tweeted: “See, it’s funny because feminine hygiene products are INHERENTLY emasculating, so when a man makes another man touch a tampon, he’s saying ‘I am a bigger and better man than you, because, GROSS, I made you touch a wrapped Tampax!’.”

Golf podcast host Brian Kirschner said: “Truly cannot get over the idea of Tiger Woods preparing for his first non-major start since 2020 at a tournament he’s hosting and being like “oops almost forgot to pack a tampon to hand to JT when I hit it past him”.

And Julie DiCaro, a lawyer and author, tweeted: “Ugh. All the guys think this is hilarious, but the joke is denigrating women. So played out and stupid.” 

Analysis – BBC golf correspondent Iain Carter

Woods’ comeback to tournament golf was supposed to be the feelgood story of a great champion who is once again defying the odds and putting golf into a positive spotlight. 

But this incident puts that narrative in serious jeopardy because many will interpret it as a premeditated and embarrassingly sexist act from a 47-year-old-man who should know better.

Especially given the apologies he has previously needed to make for episodes in his private life.

Coming from the sport’s most prominent figure, the incident could damage his reputation as well as that of a game which has often struggled to shake off accusations of institutional misogyny. 

Some will view it as mere locker room banter, and Woods surely saw it as a private joke. But others will refuse to accept such an excuse. They will also point to the incident occurring during play with TV cameras inevitably trained on Woods’ every move. 

The 15-time major winner and Thomas, who is the reigning US PGA champion, have a close and almost fraternal relationship. They no doubt share similar senses of humour and this episode is unlikely to reflect well on either of them.

Woods, who badly injured his right leg and foot in a car accident two days after this tournament in 2021, carded a two-under-par 69 to finish five shots behind leaders Keith Mitchell and Max Homa after the first round of the event he is hosting at the Riviera Country Club, California.

Both Woods and Thomas have been involved in controversial incidents in their careers before.

In 2021, Thomas apologised for using a homophobic slur during the third round of the Sentry Tour of Champions in Hawaii.

Woods was involved in a car crash in November 2009 which eventually led to admissions of infidelity and the breakdown of his marriage. He then took a break from golf but returned shortly afterwards.

In 2017 Woods was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence when he was found asleep at the wheel of his car. He later pleaded guilty to reckless driving.

Source – BBC News



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